The Guitar Amp Guide: Differences between Tube, Solid-State and Hybrid amps
Tube amps have tubes in both its power section and its pre-amp section. These amps are known for their warm sound and ability to get real tube tone, gain, and feel. An all tube amp will respond to the lowering of your volume knob and the change in your pick attack, more than solid-state and hybrid amps. Players that want a generous amount of headroom and dynamics will choose tube amps. If you use pedals for overdrive and distortion, tube amps are a wise choice.
Solid-state amps use transistors, not tubes, for their power or pre-amp sections. Transistors are very reliable and always sound the same. The Solid-State circuits are more consistent than Tubes. Solid-State circuitry will make the amp react the same at both lower and higher volumes. A solid-state amp will be a better choice than a tube amp for hitting the sweet spot, without being too loud at a gig. Solid-state amps are less expensive and lighter in weight than tube amps
Hybrid amps combine tube circuitry with solid-state technology. These amps benefit from the tube with their added warmth. The solid-state section contributes to the amps consistent tone and light weight. These amps will sound and feel closer to an “all tube” amp than solid state. The Hybrid amp type will be more affordable an “all tube” build.
Modeling amps can classify in the solid-state and hybrid categories. These amps are light weight like solid-state designs. They have more features, in regards, to effects than tube, solid-state and hybrid amps. Modeling designs have a variety of amp choices covering making them the most versatile of all the amp categories. This amp type will be light weight like solid-state, but lack the headroom the “all tube” amps are known for.